“Tears in rain”: Rutger Hauer, Ridley Scott, Blade Runner and how poetry makes us human

Rutger Hauer is a cool dude and, as an actor, is probably most well known for his role as the replicant Batty in the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner. He recently gave an interview to the AV Club (the wonderful pop-culture and media magazine operated by The Onion) and spoke about some of his iconic roles. In the course of the conversation he discussed his most famous cinematic performance as the android Batty and how he was seeking to imbue him with the essence of being human. As poetry fans, we were particularly taken with Ridley Scott’s response to that very question.

One of the first things Ridley [Scott] said when we finally started to talk about what he was looking for from me as an actor, he said, “I want everything and more, because that’s what makes a human.” So the first thing he says is poetry—that’s not strange, because it’s sort of in the character. He has a few moments where he recites poetry, and I love the fact that he has no clue what it means, but it comes out of him. So I said, “Can I do a sense of poetry, and maybe a sense of beauty, and can I have a soul, or sense of humor, or be a seven-year-old?” [Read the entire interview with the Dutch master here]

And no finer example of that poetry can be found in Rutger Hauer’s lyrical final scene in Blade Runner. It really does stand out as the most human and poetic moment in the film. All the more remarkable when the legendary line “…tears in rain…” was apparently improvised by Rutger Hauer himself on set. So, we tip our hat to you Mr. Hauer. A fine, poetic human. Take a moment and marvel again at his subtle performance and the dazzling imagery of the words. “I’ve seen things…”

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See also: Werner Herzog on poetry> “the poet must not avert his eyes…”

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The brownbread mixtape is a free monthly comedy, poetry & music show in The Stag’s Head pub in Dublin, Ireland.

Each month’s show has a theme and we all have loads of fun. Simple as that.

We can be followed & liked in these places:
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